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Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach
Portrait of Bach, aged 61, Haussmann, 1748
Short Name: Johann Sebastian Bach
Full Name: Bach, Johann Sebastian, 1685-1750
Birth Year: 1685
Death Year: 1750

Johann Sebastian Bach was born at Eisenach into a musical family and in a town steeped in Reformation history, he received early musical training from his father and older brother, and elementary education in the classical school Luther had earlier attended.

Throughout his life he made extraordinary efforts to learn from other musicians. At 15 he walked to Lüneburg to work as a chorister and study at the convent school of St. Michael. From there he walked 30 miles to Hamburg to hear Johann Reinken, and 60 miles to Celle to become familiar with French composition and performance traditions. Once he obtained a month's leave from his job to hear Buxtehude, but stayed nearly four months. He arranged compositions from Vivaldi and other Italian masters. His own compositions spanned almost every musical form then known (Opera was the notable exception).

In his own time, Bach was highly regarded as organist and teacher, his compositions being circulated as models of contrapuntal technique. Four of his children achieved careers as composers; Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, and Chopin are only a few of the best known of the musicians that confessed a major debt to Bach's work in their own musical development. Mendelssohn began re-introducing Bach's music into the concert repertoire, where it has come to attract admiration and even veneration for its own sake.

After 20 years of successful work in several posts, Bach became cantor of the Thomas-schule in Leipzig, and remained there for the remaining 27 years of his life, concentrating on church music for the Lutheran service: over 200 cantatas, four passion settings, a Mass, and hundreds of chorale settings, harmonizations, preludes, and arrangements. He edited the tunes for Schemelli's Musicalisches Gesangbuch, contributing 16 original tunes. His choral harmonizations remain a staple for studies of composition and harmony. Additional melodies from his works have been adapted as hymn tunes.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)

Wikipedia Biography

Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the late Baroque period. He is known for his orchestral music such as the Brandenburg Concertos; instrumental compositions such as the Cello Suites; keyboard works such as the Goldberg Variations and The Well-Tempered Clavier; organ works such as the Schubler Chorales and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor; and vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach revival he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers in the history of Western music.

Tunes by Johann Sebastian Bach (133)sort descendingAsInstancesIncipit
[A Boy was born in Bethlehem]J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)211122 32177 34323
ACH BLEIB BEI UNSJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685 - 1750 (Arranger)833453 12343 21123
ACH GOTT UND HERR (17655 major)J. S. Bach (Arranger)4117655 67121 76765
SALZBURG (Hintze)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)11151565 43554 32215
ALLEIN ZU DIRJohann S. Bach (Harmonizer)237123 45433
ALLES IST AN GOTTES SEGENJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)511534 53133 23127
ES IST DAS HEILBach (Composer)155557 65453 13456
[Auf meinen lieben Gott trau' ich]Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer)151234 55543 42234
ST. AUGUSTINE (51232)Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer)1151232 13554 32314
AUS TIEFER NOT (Luther)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)451565 34556 76532
WAS GOTT TUTJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1756) (Composer)651234 54365 43321
BEHOLD THE LAMB (Bach)J. S. Bach (Composer)356543 45256 52343
[Breite, Vater, deines Names Ehr']J. S. Bach (Composer)255123 54435 43223
BREMEN (51122)Bach (Composer)151122 35443 32
CHAMBER MUSICJ. S. Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)251232 52343 5555
CHRIST DER DU BIST DER HELLE TAGJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)211321 34555 56765
CHRISTE, DER DU BIST TAG UND LICHTJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)113171 23213 33371
CHRIST LAG IN TODESBANDENJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1454571 76553 45432
CHRISTUS, DER IST MEIN LEBENJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1513234 53654 32356
GENEVAN 42J. S. Bach (Adapted, harmonized)1012321 76512 34321
DANK SEI GOTT IN DER HÖHEJohann Sebastian Bach (Arranger)853565 43323 22153
DARMSTADT (Fritsch)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)4053215 56622 54321
[Das neugeborne Kindelein]J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1311154 35432 55676
DAS WALT' GOTT VATERJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1313553 12315 56717
SCHMÜCKE DICHJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)532123 54353 43213
DER GEISTJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)311155 66512 34322
DU FRIEDENSFÜRST, HERR JESU CHRISTJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)531234 54335 43234
EIN FESTE BURGJ. S. Bach (Arranged)4311156 71765 17656
ERHALT UNS, HERRJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)6013171 32134 45344
LUTHER'S HYMNJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685 - 1750 (Harmonizer)411321 22313 45321
O EWIGKEITJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)313455 67113 45543
FAITHFUL (Bach)Johann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)2355345 17655 53451
[Fight the good fight with all thy might] (Bach)J. S. Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)2
[Hilf, Herr Jesus, lass gelingen]Bach (Composer)211554 32576 54432
WIE SCHÖN LEUCHTETJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)4715315 66556 71766
OLD HUNDREDTHJ. S. Bach (Arranger)111765 12333 32143
GILDASJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Adapter)151232 13554 32314
[God, be merciful and gracious unto us]J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)257555 56544 3
GOTT DER VATER WOHN UNS BEIJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Harm. based on)155671 17615 3432
GOTT DES HIMMELSJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1012351 76567 12321
GOTTLOB, ES GEHT NUNMEHR ZU ENDEJohann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)1931343 21233 36711
CONTRAST (German)J. S. Bach (Composer)1451513 13543 53212
HEINLEINJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer (attributed to))455123 45557 76655
HERR CHRIST, DER EINIG GOTTS SOHNJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Arranger)111321 76342 32111
HERR, ICH HABE MISGEHANDELT (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)215671 23432 21321
HERR JESU CHRIST DICH ZU UNS WEND (13532)J. S. Bach (Arranger)3313532 34565 32117
HERR JESU CHRIST, DU HÖCHSTES GUTJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)211712 32112 25432
BRESLAUJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)111161 27667 12567
HERR NUN LASZ IN FRIEDEJohann Sebastian Bach (Composer)155671 17771 23323
PASSION CHORALE (Hassler)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)27051765 45233 2121
HERZLIEBSTER JESUJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685 - 1750 (Harmonizer)1711175 12334 22345
HEUT' TRIUMPHIERET GOTTES SOHNJoh. Seb. Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)133454 32333 32321
NUREMBURG (Schop)Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer)251565 43554 32212
[Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of hosts] (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Ascribed to)453215 65177 65565
[Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts] (55543)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)155554 32345 54321
HOSANNA (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)353215 65123 54321
[Hush, my dear child, lie still and slumber]J. S. Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)211334 45557 65443
[Ich bin ja, Herr, in deiner Macht]J. S. Bach (?) (Composer)212234 31554 3217
ICH HALTE TREULICH STILLJ. S. Bach (Composer (attr.))2553156 55234 32123
ICH STEH AN DEINER KRIPPENJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)951231 76573 23455
IN DIR IST FREUDEJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Adapter)355431 55431 54321
IN DULCI JUBILOJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harrmonizer)211134 56551 13456
IPSWICH (Bach)I. S. Bach (O)212432 35617 6543
JEJUNIAJohann S. Bach (Harmonizer)256715 51757 65671
JESU, DER DU SELBSTEN WOHLJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)331223 45234 32212
JESU, MEINE FREUDE (Crüger)J. S. Bach (Adapted, harmonized)3655432 11556 7171
JESUS, MEINE ZUVERSICHT (Crüger)J. S. Bach (Arranger)754367 11767 15434
MEINEN JESUM LASS ICH NICHT (Hammerschmidt)J. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)155667 71221 17665
KOMM, SÜSSER TODJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)217655 32177
[Land of our birth! we pledge to thee]J. S. Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)215543 23455 35453
LAUS DEO (Bach)J. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)315654 32171
[Liebster Herr Jesu, wo bleibst du so lange]J. S. Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)254322 56543 32533
LIEBSTER IMMANUELJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1433321 71654 37751
LIEBSTER JESU (Ahle)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)3332125 32121 11123
LOBT GOTT IHR CHRISTENJohann S. Bach (Harmonizer)2215555 65432 34566
EISENACH (Gesius)J. S. Bach (Adapted, harmonized)5113455 43256 71766
MEIN JESU, DEM DIE SERAPHINENSeb. Bach (Composer)256712 32113 23176
MEINE HOFFNUNGJohann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Adapter and Harmonizer)217123 21255 776
MEINHOLDJohann Sebastian Bach (Composer)1533354 43332 34321
[O hjertens ve]Johann Sebastian Bach (Arranger)153323 11755 56543
NEUMARKJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1351232 12757 77651
NUN DANKETJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)155566 53432 32155
NUN FREUT EUCHJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)211514 32112 43267
NUN KOMM, DER HEIDEN HEILANDJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)1711732 12112 34345
NUN LASST UNS GOTTJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)311761 21112 7517
INNSBRUCKJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)6632123 54334 5523
NUREMBERG (Ahle)J. S. Bach (Composer)131253 12111 12321
NURNBERGJ. S. Bach (Composer)851271 65432 123
O GOTT DU FROMMER GOTT (51712)Johann Sebastian Bach (Harmonizer)1251712 33432 17551
O JESULEIN SÜSSJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Arranger)2011712 71765 32211
O HERZENSANGSTJ. S. Bach (Composer)2
O JESUS, DEIN KREUZJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)212312 71556 717
OLD 113THJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Arranger)111231 34554 32134
[Object of my first desire]J. S. Bach (?) (Composer)251712 32231 43223
[Of Thee, Jehovah, is our singing]Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)251323 16451 42124
[One thing's needful! then Lord Jesus]Joh. Seb. Bach (Composer)232125 13217 56543
PHUVAHJohn Sebastian Bach (Composer)113234 54354 3212
POTSDAMJ. S. Bach (Composer)4512432 15617 65346
POUR RÉPONDRE (Bach)Johann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)255435 43225 67665
PROTECTION (Bach)J. S. Bach (Composer)214565 45313 32144
RINKART (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer (melody and figured bass))1053211 76534 56
CHRISTOPHER (Peter)Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Harmonizer)112345 17123 34431
ERMUNTRE DICHJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)4511234 55453 43232
SEBASTIAN (Freylinghausen)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)532433 21332 34432
NICHT SO TRAURIG (Bach)Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer (attributed to))2132154 32347 1
SEGNE UNSJohann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)734551 23671 3545
WACHET AUF (Nicolai)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)7913555 56551 51232
SO GIEBST DUJohann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)5
[So wünsch ich mir zu guter Letzt]Johs. S. Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)251236 54325 12321
SPIRESBach (Harmonizer)212321 71232 13445
ST. ALBAN (Haydn)J. S. Bach (Arranger)133221 55566 24433
ST. ANNEJ. S. Bach (Arranger)153651 17151 5645
KOMM, O KOMM, DU GEIST DES LEBENS (Bach)J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)131251 27567 11223
ST. THEODULPH (Teschner)Johann S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)1715567 11321 17151
[Chant] (Tonus Peregrinus 54654)J. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Plainsong setting)154654 34413 21
VATER UNSERJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)4455345 32155 47534
KOMM, GOTT SCHÖPFERBach (1685-1750) (Composer)256545 12115 71233
VENI CREATOR SPIRITUS (Plainsong)Johann Sebastian Bach (Composer)156545 65122 11561
VERLEIH UNS FRIEDENJ. S. Bach, 1685-1750 (Harmonizer)211171 23213 44345
FRÖHLICH SOLL (Crüger 11212)Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)111212 34434 564
WAS MEIN GOTT WILLJ.S. Bach (Arranger)857173 32332 1421
WIE LIEBLICH IST DER MAIENJ. S. Bach (Arranger)151232 17666 51171
[We offer our gifts and ourselves]Johann Sebastian Bach, 1685-1750 (Composer)235432 34321
[We wait for the eternal light]J. S. Bach (Harmonizer)312321 12321 54322
WE'LL WALK IN THE LIGHTJ S Bach (Arranger)135533 21333 6532
WERDE MUNTERJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)3334554 32234 54321
[When along life's thorny road]J. S. Bach (Composer)254323 21755 64543
JESU KREUZ, LEIDEN UND PEINJohann Sebastian Bach (Adapter)632123 45654 32135
[Wo ist mein Schäflein, das ich liebe]J. S. Bach (1685-1750) (Composer)256713 65431 23256
GÖTTINGENJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)111234 55543 42234
VOM HIMMEL HOCHJ. S. Bach (Harmonizer)2717675 67111 55345
ZUM FRIEDENJohann Sebastian Bach (Composer)753116 56543 65432

Data Sources

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